HOW TO PREPARE YOGHOURT AND WHITE CHEESE
As is known, the Bulgarian yoghourt is unique and familiar to customers all over the world. Moreover, the Bulgarian people produce also delicious white cheese, curds and other products of fresh milk. This time we are going to give you several recipes for preparing such products.
Although milk is a drink, it contains 12.5 per cent of solid substance and more than 100 components. In one liter of cow milk there are 35 g of proteins, 46 g of sugar, as well as almost all kinds of microelements and vitamins. Besides being wholesome, fresh milk is very easily assimilated by human organism. Various milk products are made of milk - yoghourt, white cheese, cheese, cream, curds, butter, etc. - and they are widely used in the national Bulgarian cooking practice.
The Bulgarian sour milk is an original national product. Outside Bulgaria it is known by the name of “yoghourt”. It is supposed that the Bulgarian sour milk was connected with sheep-breeding, which can be traced back to Thracian times. Shepherds made a great variety of products using the large output of milk. It is believed that the best masters of yoghourt came from the Razgrad district. Yoghourt is obtained from full-cream milk after lacto-acidic fermentation at a temperature of 40-45o C. Depending on the type of milk used, the sour milk may be sheep, cow, buffalo, or mixed yoghourt. The greatest amount of fats is found in buffalo yoghourt - 7.5 per cent, followed by sheep yoghourt - 6.5 per cent and cow yoghourt - 3.6 per cent. Here follows a description of how you yourself can produce Bulgarian sour milk, fulfilling the recipe of the Razgrad masters:
- 1 liter of fresh milk
- 1 spoonful of sour milk to start fermentation
Boil the milk and let it cool to 38-40o C (it should be a little warmer than your hand).
Pour 1/4 teacupful of it on the portion of sour milk required to start fermentation and mix well. Then add this mixture to the fresh milk. Stir well, cover the pot with a lid, wrap it with a woolen blanket and leave it in a warm premise.
The temperature of 38-40o C should be maintained for three hours, while the sour milk fermentation develops.
The yoghourt thus obtained is kept in the refrigerator.
The white brined cheese is a concentrated milk food with varying taste and flavour, depending on its production technology. It has been home produced since ancient times. Its is served as an appetizer, or as an ingredient of many dishes of the Bulgarian cuisine. Here follows a recipe for the preparation of brined sheep cheese, which is a basic diet of the Bulgarian people. It can be consumed separately or in combination with other products.
- 10 liters of fresh sheep milk
- 20 drops /20 ml/ of rennet
- salt /200 g per 1liter of water for the salting brine, and 120 g per 1 liter of water for the preservation brine/.
Filter the milk.
Warm it up to a temperature of 70o C for 10 minutes, not allowing it to boil and then cool it to 33-34o C.
Add the rennet diluted by boiled and cooled water in a proportion of 1:10, stir well the milk and leave it at the same temperature for one hour to turn into cheese.
The cheese thus produced should be drained in a cheese-cloth /gauze/ for 2 hours in order to remove the whey.
The cheese obtained and drained should be placed in a strainer and pressed by weights for at least 6 hours.
Then you can cut it into lumps and put them in a salting brine. It is made of 1 liter of water and 200 g of salt. The cheese should be steeped in the brine for not less than 24 hours, in order to become lightly salty in taste. Finally, arrange the cheese lumps in the utensils where they will be preserved and pour preservation brine /120 g of salt per 1 liter of water/ on it.
The cheese will be ready for consumption in 60 days and during this time temperature in the room should measure about 10o C. Later you can store it in a refrigerator.
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